After playing key roles in laying the foundation for Nigeria’s post-independence education sector, former Education Minister, Prof. Aliu Babatunde Fafunwa, Monday bade the living goodbye. He died in the early hours of today in an Abuja hospital, 18 days after his 87th birthday.
Widely regarded as Nigeria’s foremost authority on education and had a hand in virtually all National Policies on education, Fafunwa was billed to deliver a keynote lecture and receive an honorary doctorate degree from the National Open University of Nigeria but the event was cancelled for unknown reasons after he had arrived Abuja.
Professor Aliu Babatunde Fafunwa CON, former minister for education in Nigeria, died in Abuja in the early hours of Monday, 11th September, 2010.
A renowned educationist and scholar, Prof Fafunwa was a former minister for education as well as a notable authority on the history of educational planning in Nigeria.
Born on the 23rd of September 1923, Prof Fafunwa was a man of many achievements who contributed greatly to the development of education in Nigeria.
Prof Fafunwa obtained a B.Sc. (Magna Cum Laude) in Social Science and English from Bethune Cookman College, Florida, U.S.A. in 1950 as well as an M.A (Cum Laude) in Administration and Higher Education in 1955. He returned to Nigeria and was appointed professor of education and later, Acting Vice Chancellor of University of Nigeria, Nsukka, 1965 and 1966. He was also Deputy Vice Chancellor, University of Ife; from 1970 to 1972. He was the first Nigerian recipient of a doctoral degree in education. He has also chaired various organizations, committees, boards and societies.
In 1994, He received the Jan Amos Comenius UNESCO medal for outstanding achievement in the field of education research and innovation, Paris. He was also awarded the Nigerian Merit Award in1989 and Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) in December 2002. He was a devout Muslim who was the President of Jamat-at-ul Islamiyya of Nigeria between 1995 and 2004.